William Kyle Carpenter (born 17 October 1989) is a medically retired United States Marine who received the United States' highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2010. Carpenter is the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient.
You Are Worth It: Building a Life Worth Fighting For (2019)
- As we sat together in that kitchen, with the overhead lights reflecting back against the darkness outside, I had a realization: I could spend my life sitting at that counter, or I could get up and live. I chose to get up and live.
- p. 181
- For weeks afterward, I could wake up wondering, Now what? Every morning started with a question for which I didn't have an answer, except to do whatever the next thing was that day. I developed a daily mantra, and I still say something similar to myself each morning: "I don't know what I want to do or how I'm going to do it or where I might end up, but as long as I work hard, try to do the right thing, try to be a good person, and try to help people- I can't go wrong doing that."
- p. 182
- The more I fought for my future instead of against my past, the more I realized that there wasn't just life for me on the other side of this- there was life for me in the middle of it. My life wasn't going to start again after my recovery, because, truthfully, my recovery is not something that will ever be complete or ever be over. But by letting go of a world where I wasn't injured, I could focus on the life I had been given- a second chance that not everyone is lucky enough to get.
- p. 183
- It is incredible to think about the places freedom can take you.
- p. 197
- I don't remember much about the incident and I definitely don't remember what I was thinking about in the moment, but, again, that's the amazing thing about people: You never know how you're going to step up, or when.
- p. 304
- I'm proud of what I did, but at the same time, I'm surprised by it. My guess is that you have surprised yourself, too- that there have been times when you didn't put much forethought into the moment but, looking back, you realize how boldly you acted. It may have been the action of a moment or it could have been the strength and persistence of weathering a particularly difficult season in your life. As you reflect on it now, you are probably surprised at what you were capable of doing. The fallout of that time for you might not be as readily obvious as mine was, but the idea is the same: You did what you had to do and you made your world- our world- a little bit better. That's courage. That's heroism. That's honor. Thank you for your service.
- p. 304